Congress-led United Democratic Front on Wednesday notched a resounding victory in the crucial Piravom bypolls -- its candidate Anoop Jacob (Kerala Congress-Jacob) trounced the LDF’s M J Jacob (CPM) over 12,000 votes.
The by-election was necessitated after the death of former state water resources minister T M Jacob six months back.
In the 2011 assembly election T M Jacob had scrapped through with a slender margin of 156 votes but his son (UDF candidate) increased the margin substantially giving much relief to the Oommen Chandy government.
A record polling of 86.3% was registered in the constiutency this time. The Piravom (40 kms away from Kochi) bypolls had its echo even in faraway Italy. Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi admitted in Rome last month that the March 17 by-election complicated the diplomatic row between two countries -- two Italian marines are cooling their heels in Kerala jail after they killed two Indian fishermen mistaking them for pirates.
In 2011 election, out of 140 seats UDF got 72 and LDF 68. Later with the death of TM Jacob UDF's strength was reduced to 71. But the LDF number had also come down to 67 when CPM MLA R Selvaraj quit his assembly seat last week. Now with this by-poll win, out of 139 (one seat is vacant) seats UDF has 72 and LDF has 67 seats.